Fr Thomas’ Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Protect and Perish or spend and flourish

              Who among you doesn’t want to be remembered?  In your memory who are the people you cherish?  Aren’t they the people who went out of their way to show compassion to you when you were feeling miserable?  You remember the people who helped you in need.  Mary Mackillop lives in the memory of many generations because she reached out to those in need.  Mother Teresa of Kolkatta is remembered for her risk taking and dedication in caring for the destitute and the dying left behind by a money craving world.  Francis of Assisi who renounced his wealth and risked his health in the cold winter was called a mad man by many of his contemporaries.  While his contemporaries who thought of themselves as sane and normal are gone to oblivion.  Whereas Francis who risked his reputation has become great and an inspiration for many.  These people who spent their time, talent, and resources have achieved what those who worked hard to protect their wealth, health, and good name could not.  That is the irony of our God given life.  The more you try to protect what you value most in your life, the more irrelevant you become.  The more risk you take with what you have, the greater your life will be.  Therefore, if you want to be remembered by people and God, be prepared to take a risk with your health, wealth, and good reputation. Otherwise in spite of your busy life, you will be one of those average people no one cares to remember.  These average people who spent all their life protecting what is dear to them in their life are like the person with one talent in the story Jesus told.  After telling the story of how the servants who took risk were rewarded with more, Jesus said about the one who carefully protected his talent, “So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents.  For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’  Protect and perish or spend and flourish.  The choice is yours.